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Aly Raisman’s advice from David Ortiz after pre-Olympic injury

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It’s Christmas Eve 2015, and Aly Raisman is — where else — at Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz‘s house.

She’s also sporting a black walking boot.

Raisman said in her book, “Fierce,” published Tuesday, that she partially tore left ankle ligaments warming up on floor exercise at a December 2015 national team camp.

Raisman thought about quitting gymnastics during that camp, not only for that injury but also because she was brought to tears — two days before getting hurt — believing that she wouldn’t make the Olympic team named in seven months.

Raisman was told by a doctor to keep pressure off the ankle for four weeks.

Later that month, she arrived at Ortiz’s house for a Christmas Eve small group gathering. Raisman and Ortiz had been friends since she threw a ceremonial first pitch at an August 2012 Red Sox game.

Ortiz asked how she was doing wearing that boot.

“I just don’t feel confident anymore,” she said. “There are all these younger girls coming up, and they’re all better than me.”

Ortiz, then a 40-year-old going into his final MLB season, nodded and offered advice.

“You have to use the moment and not let it use you,” he said.

Seven months later, Raisman made her second Olympic team. A month after that, she won another Olympic gold and two silvers, giving her six career Olympic medals.

Raisman plans to return for a Tokyo 2020 run.

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MORE: How Raisman addressed Larry Nassar in book

David Ortiz weighed down by Aly Raisman’s medals (video)

David Ortiz, Aly Raisman
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David Ortiz called his good friend Aly Raisman on Thursday night. Raisman had one request for their scheduled meeting for Friday.

“I told him that he had to hold my medals while I threw out the first pitch,” Raisman said on NESN. “I told him he better not forget, but he remembered.”

Ortiz made it a highlight, wearing Raisman’s three Rio medals and plodding as if they were weighing him down before the Royals-Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Friday night.

It was reminiscent of Bryce Harper serving as a medal rack for Katie Ledecky on Wednesday night.

Ortiz and Raisman have come to know each other in the last four years, after Raisman’s first Olympic appearance in London. Raisman, a native of Needham, Massachusetts, has attended a gala and golf tournament benefitting Ortiz’s children’s charity.

She previously threw a first pitch at Fenway following the 2012 London Games. It didn’t faze Raisman that her pitch Friday bounced before reaching home plate.

“My pitch was horrible, but that’s OK,” Raisman said on NESN. “I’m good at gymnastics, so it doesn’t matter.”

Raisman will rejoin her Final Five teammates for a USA Gymnastics tour of 36 cities that begins Sept. 15. Whether she returns to competitive gymnastics is unknown.

MORE: Gymnastics royalty reacts to Biles and Raisman’s Olympic heroics

 

Vincent Gagnier, Lisa Zimmermann win ski Big Air at Fenway Park

Vincent Gagnier
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Canadian Vincent Gagnier and German Lisa Zimmermann captured ski Big Air at Fenway Park titles on Friday night.

Gagnier, the 2015 Winter X Games ski big air champion, posted the two best scores of the night, earning the title with a combined 185 points. Scores were tallied combining a skier’s two best runs over three overall.

Gagnier’s highest-scoring trick included four ski grabs while spinning 1260 degrees.

Watch Gagnier’s three runs here. Full men’s results are here.

Zimmermann, the 2015 World champion in ski slopestyle, edged Swede Emma Dahlstrom by two tenths of a point. Zimmermann came up clutch in her final run, scoring a 90.60 on a switch 720-degree jump, going off the ramp backwards.

Watch Zimmermann’s three runs here. Full women’s results are here.

“I love the crowd, it’s like super motivating, and the music is super awesome,” Zimmermann said on NBCSN. “I was thinking all day just to go out and party.”

Athletes were competing on a 140-foot ramp dwarfing the nearby Green Monster, about four times taller than the histroic wall. Ski big air is not part of the Olympic program.

None of the three U.S. Olympic men’s ski slopestyle medalists competed in the final Friday night.

Olympic champion Joss Christensen pulled out before qualification with a sore knee. Silver medalist Gus Kenworthy and bronze medalist Nick Goepper bowed out in qualifying, with Kenworthy not taking all of his runs due to a heel bruise.

U.S. Olympic women’s ski slopestyle silver medalist Devin Logan placed sixth in the final.

NBC will air Big Air at Fenway coverage on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.

MORE: Shaun White explains ‘shock’ of missing X Games